“Teaching gives me purpose,” Eboni Harrington, a middle school teacher at Lucy Addison Middle School in Roanoke, Va., tells Yahoo Life. “I truly enjoy inspiring and encouraging our future leaders of tomorrow. Their ‘aha’ moments are always worth the long hours and commitment.”
Harrington says she was “devastated” when school ended early this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she was determined to engage with her students, most of whom re-started the school year with remote learning. “To be unable to have my passion fuel my purpose in a traditional way was tough,” she says. “I found ways to reach my students and had to get creative in doing so. From [using] the Remind [app] with parents and students to downloading a Google Voice number for direct contact, I was there.”
Her passion for education did not waiver amid the pandemic and Harrington continued her annual tradition of creating a back-to-school rap to get her students pumped up for school (in previous years, she recreated Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj hits). This year, Harrington decided to put together a music video, a process that took two weeks.
This week, Harrington posted the video to the Roanoke Public Schools Facebook page, where it has been shared 2,000 times. A district spokesperson did not immediately reply to Yahoo Life’s request for comment.
“...Writing the song was both fun and challenging,” Harrington tells Yahoo Life. “I was super excited to commit to changing the words of today’s most popular song. I got feedback from my family almost every day and even asked the cheerleaders and coaching staff [for] their thoughts. I knew if the cheerleaders were feeling it, then the community would be just as excited, if not more.”
The middle school teacher adds that she is overwhelmed by the response she has gotten from the music video and was happy to see that parents and students felt less stress when they saw that she, along with other teachers, were excited about the upcoming school year.
“During these unprecedented times we need to show that we are all still excited to be in the moment and that’s what this video meant to me,” she continues. “I wanted to show my students that regardless of the situation, we are going to work and progress!”
Harrington says that in addition to putting together the music video, during the pandemic she has also delivered meals to families, advocated for and painted an “End Racism Now” mural in her city and continues to engage in conversations that promote education and equity.
Related: Georgia teachers' music video hype students up for virtual classes
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